10/22/2019, 16.37
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Synod for the Amazon: The lavish Western life is the cause of an ‘economy that kills’

Bishop of Suriname says “wealth only goes to the West and poverty remains with us" and “Forests disappear because the rich world wants to eat meat". For Archbishop Fisichella, “Recently evangelised indigenous people need an expression of faith and witness that could have, like other rites, a married clergy alongside the celibate clergy.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Mgr Karel Martinus Choennie, bishop of Paramaribo (Suriname), slammed the “lavish life in the West" as the cause of an "economy that kills”. He stressed the tragic consequences of an unfair development “as wealth only goes to the West and poverty remains with us". As a result, "Forests disappear because the rich world wants to eat meat".

"We need a new type of economy, based on solidarity" and "the Church and all of us have a duty to seriously consider climate change and environmental problems" because "if global warming increases, the Amazon will disappear." Indeed, “If deforestation in the Amazon increases even by 5 per cent, it will have disastrous and irreversible effects."

The situation is not unlike that of the Congo, which "very much resembles" the Amazon, said Card Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The survival of the local population is seriously at risk due to "irresponsible destruction" caused by the exploitation of natural resources.

"We all have a responsibility for our common home that is burning, and no one can say: ‘It has nothing to do with me’,” he said. "Some, however, have more responsibility than others", i.e. the “Western countries”, especially with respect to “exploiting natural resources and forests by mining companies". The “Church does its best, even in Congo, but it has problems because of the lack of personnel."

Mgr Rino Fisichella, who is taking part in the Synod for the Amazon as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation, expressed some flexibility vis-à-vis the issue of the viri probati. In an interview with Vatican Radio Italia, he said that, within the Catholic Church, there are many rites, historical expressions of various cultures and traditions, so that there could also be an ‘Amazonian rite’ that included married priests and “a ministry that is open to the promotion of women.”

Mgr Fisichella noted that "A small group came up with a proposal” to that effect. “Unlike other Synods, there are no particular elements that can arouse heated debates” over an ‘Amazonian rite’ since it is the consequence of the work of evangelisation meeting a certain culture. "Of course, as we have said, there are many cultures, but creating the rite is equivalent to finding a basic element, a common denominator that allows indigenous peoples to celebrate the liturgy and therefore the sacraments."

Mgr Fisichella went on to say that currently there are 23 at least different rites within the Catholic Church. They did not emerge simultaneously, but appeared over the centuries. The Latin rite for example “emerged around the 4th century and has been the basis of the identity for a certain population for about 2,000 years.”

“Recently evangelised indigenous people need an expression of faith and witness that could have, like other rites, married clergy present alongside the celibate clergy. Obviously, this ministry should also be open to the promotion of women, but always keeping strong the faith shared by all.”

"Thus, instituting a rite is not a contradiction or opposition to what the Church has always believed in and has always professed, something that everyone has professed in their faith. Instead it provides additional support to express a different cultural identity."

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